In a statement from the US Treasury Department, it was noted that Binance will pay a penalty of 3.4 billion dollars under the agreement with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Unit (FinCEN) and 968 million dollars under the agreement with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
The statement said Binance failed to comply with anti-money laundering and sanctions laws, allowing a number of illegal actors to trade freely on the platform.
The statement said that the agreement with FinCEN includes important commitments, including 5-year surveillance and ensuring Binance's complete exit from the US, and noted that if the agreement does not fulfill its obligations, Binance may face additional penalties, including a deferred penalty of $ 150 million to be collected by FinCEN.
USA AUTHORIZED OVER 1.5 BILLION VIRTUAL CURRENCY TRADES IN VIOLATION OF ITS SANCTIONS
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, US Attorney General Merrick Garland, US Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Rostin Behnam held a joint press conference.
At the press conference, US Treasury Secretary Yellen explained that FinCEN, OFAC and the IRS have been investigating Binance's activities for more than 3 years.
Yellen stated that Binance claimed to have exited the US market years ago, but in fact, it was found that it maintained important connections with US users and the country, and noted that the company did not report suspicious transactions.
Yellen reported that the platform allowed more than 1.5 million virtual currency trades in violation of US sanctions.
BİNANCE ACCEPTED THE CHARGES
US Attorney General Merrick Garland also stated that Binance admitted that Binance deliberately committed the violations in question, emphasizing that the approximately $ 4.3 billion that Binance will pay is one of the largest fines ever imposed.
As part of the agreement, a monitoring and reporting obligation was also imposed on Binance, Garland said, noting that the company must review past transactions and report suspicious activity to federal authorities.
Garland stated that they filed a criminal complaint against Binance Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Changpeng Zhao for willfully violating the relevant law, and reported that Zhao personally submitted his defense to the Washington Western District Court earlier today.
RICHARD TENG IS THE NEW CEO AT BIYNANCE
On the other hand, Binance CEO Zhao, who was born in China and immigrated to Canada at the age of 12, agreed to resign and pay a $50 million fine as part of the deal.
In a post on his X account, Zhao announced that he was stepping down as CEO of the company in the best interest of Binance and himself, stating that he had made mistakes and needed to take responsibility.
Emphasizing that Binance is no longer a "baby" and that it is time to let the company walk and run, Zhao said, "I know that Binance will continue to grow and succeed with its deep infrastructure."
Zhao pointed out that Richard Teng, one of the company's top executives, will now serve as Binance CEO, and stated that Teng will set the direction of the company in the next growth period with more than 30 years of financial services and regulatory experience.
Stating that as a shareholder and former CEO with historical knowledge of the company, he will be available to advise when necessary, in accordance with the agreement with the US government, Zhao noted that he has not taken a real break for the last 6.5 years, so he will first take a break from his work for a while.
Zhao stated that he will probably make some long-term investments after that, that he cannot see himself as a CEO who will run a startup again, and that he may be open to mentoring a small number of new entrepreneurs privately if there is an audience.
Pointing to the agreement reached with the US, Zhao pointed out that Binance is not alleged to have misused any user funds or engaged in any market manipulation.